Hi all, Have finally got Wi Fi that hopefully will not drop me out halfway through blogging.
We left Almafra after a really excellent couple of months and moved on to Torrox Costa, Camping Il Pino. This site is dirty, dusty, unkempt and overpriced.
They had non existent Wi Fi, non existent hot water, very low power electric supply and the 800m from the beach was at least 2 km. they do not give the advertised discounts and simply shrug their shoulders in an all dismissing manner.
Torrox itself is a disappointment and really not worth a visit IMHO.
We had a day in Nerja however and this was lovely, what a really nice town, lovely views, nice coast and some great little bars and restaurants, we will be back to Nerja.
Travelled on through Seville and into Portugal.
Got turned away at the first two stops, Manta Rota and Falesia as the Hobby is too big they said. Ended up at Olhau, which was a very well provisioned site, good facilities and very reasonable at €18 per night with EHU, although once again the Wi Fi was very iffy.
The local town is very traditional Portuguese Fishing Town, and well worth a stopover. The locals are very diverse, very friendly and welcoming.
We had a lunch in a very small local restaurant, Debs had mixed fillets of fish, I had small stuffed squid. We had olives, bread, sardine pate, salad, cake and a beer and a wine, followed by a coffee each for €12 total. Excellent food, excellent service and so warm and welcoming. We moved on for one night to Villamora, where we met up with another Ex RAF Rugby mate of mine, we had a poolside BBQ at his Villa and got very messy lol. Villamora is beautiful but very upmarket for budget travellers!!
We have now moved onto Albufeira, we spent several nights on Parque de Palmeira, an Airre just on the edge of town, €5 a night, inc EHU, iffy Wi Fi, and hot showers, incredible value and spotlessly clean, highly recommended if you are in the area, although I know Pedros is close by.
Albufeira is split into Old Town and New Town. New town is a complete tourist area, a little Blackpool, Old Town is lovely and again definitely worth a visit.
We are currently on Camping Albufeira, pricey but a good site with full facilities including pool and restaurant etc. we are recharging our batteries ready for the next move on.
Incidentally, there is a restaurant just down the road called A Cocheira, this place is awesome, great food, great wine, great brandy!! The family that run it are warm, friendly and ultimate professionals. This is my favourite place to eat now and a full evening with wine, brandy, food etc will only cost around €20 per head. Amazing, please try it, small and fabulous.
The adventure continues, and hopefully I shall update the Blog again very soon. One last recommendation, Alentejo Region Wines are very good drinking wines and very good value, and Portugeuse Sardines are fat, tasty, cheap and very good. Cheers all.
Prawns and Sea Bass, delicious!!
Parque de Palmeira, Albufeira
Set up at Albufeira.
Well, another great week, this retirement lark is definitely suiting Debs and I.
We had a day trip to Denia on the train, what a lovely place. Lunch and a cold beer by the Marina and a stroll around the town in 41c temperatures. Lovely place though and well worth a stop if you are travelling that way.
Had a real treat by meeting up with my Children and Grandchildren and respective In Laws as they drove down from Javea to see us, I am one very happy Bampi now having had the pleasure of their company for a while.
The Cadac has had a couple of airings this week, this is a great piece of equipment, I have the Safari Chef LP, and can recommend it for anyone who is contemplating buying a gas BBQ, it's perfect for two or three people.
Have cycled from here along the seafront to Altea and back a couple of times this week, nothing too strenuous, but a gentle 6 mile plod, it makes me feel less guilty about sniffling a cold beer and a Tapa at Cafe Paradise in Albir on the way back(€1.50 a pint and a Tapa!)
We went into town with Bob, Leslie, Gerry and Arlene on Thursday Night and saw Benidorm Tom Jones, a Micheal Buble tribute, Acer somebody from the TV Show Benidorm and a 6'5 gay comedian! What a great evening we had, real mix and just about sums up the mixture of this area, beaches, castles, great food and seaside entertainment, marvellous.
Sadly this week has seen the departure of Brian and Sarah and also Bob(Papa Smurf) and Leslie, as they return towards The UK, we have become very good friends and we shall miss them, but will meet up again next season I am sure.
We met up with a couple of old friends in town yesterday, and had a great afternoon and evening, got rather messy and generally had a thoroughly enjoyable time!
Total spend so far including socialising and food etc is
€2665, but we now have a couple of quiet weeks ahead so am happy that we are still within our budget.
Lunch in Denia, smoked sardines as a starter!
A leisurely paddle in the Med!
Narrow Streets of Denia.
Happy Bampi, My Daughter, my Son and my three Grandkids paid a visit!!
Says it all really, but this guy is very good believe me.
The Safari Chef getting an airing, great little bit of kit!
Great evening with great friends old and new.
Men behaving badly, enough said I think. It's a RAF and Rugby thing. #rugbyglue!!
This week has been very chilled and relaxed during the day with nice walks, cycle rides and then much socialising on an evening.
I have treated myself to a set of Petanca, or Boule and have really enjoyed playing with a couple of our friends here.
Weds night we came up to the bar here on theCampsite, The Karaoke was on and whilst I am not the biggest fan, there are some very good singers here so a pleasant evening was had!
Thursday night, we went to the Chinese Buffet in Albir, all you can eat and drink for €12, and very good quality food it is too, cooked to order and not off a servers so fresh and washed down with several ice cold San Miguels! Great value.
Friday saw us in the Club for the evening, a guitarist/singer, plays all sorts so a dance or two and yet another sociable time! He is very good and can play Santana like he is the man himself!
Sunday, social lunch in The Yorkshire Pride, again great value at €6.50 and I know some will scoff ( see what I did there) at the idea, but a good home cooked Sunday Lunch is welcome now and then and makes a bit of a change from the Fish and Tapas that we are enjoying.
Of course the company we are keeping are making the whole experience even better, everybody is so friendly.
We are loving this area and are staying till August4 when we plan to start heading south wards through Murcia, Nerja then through Seville and into Portugal.
Total spend is now €2200, all included. I keep referring to prices and expenditure because I think it gives a good guide to costs for any other first timers thinking about doing the same.
Enjoy the photos!!
My new Petanca!
Local Tapa, we had a 4 course Menu Diaro with a beer and a glass of wine here for €13.90
The view each way from the front at Altea, simply lovely. This is why we love this area.
Beer and Tapa, oh go on then, don't mind if we do, at €2.70for the lot, it's terrible!
And the view while we do, out over Albir Beach.
It's a hard life
A refreshing drink at Estacion Del Mar, just outside the campsite, lovely Gin and Tonics!!
Beers with the lads in the Club Bar. Don't let Interpol see this
Girls just wanna have fun!!
Papa Smurf and myself after maybe one or two refreshing beers( I think)
The weather has definitely taken a turn upwards, it is now regularly in the 30s and sticky at night, not complaining, we do like the heat!
Monday we just had a gentle stroll into Alfas del Pi and did the food shopping, nothing very exciting but leisurely and very pleasant. Tuesday we took the Tram to Calpe. What a lovely place that is, steep hills down to an immaculately clean beach front, populated mostly with locals not many Brit voices heard here. We had a small lunch of Fried Fish (whitebait style) pescadilata I believe, a house salad with Tuna, a Raciones of Patatas Bravas ( fried potatoes with a spicy sauce) and a bowl of bread, complete with a beer and a glass of wine all for €15 !
Yesterday we went with Syd, Ruth, Little Bob and Leslie into Alicante then back and into Benidorm. Alicante has the Fire Festival on at the moment so was very busy, but nice nonetheless, the Marina is lovely, the atmosphere was buzzy and friendly, we ate in an old square behind the harbour, a salad, Paella and ice cream, along with two beers and half a bottle of wine was €40, bit of a difference to around here, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Walking around in Benidorm was quite an education for me, as the image of tower blocks and drunken Brits is the prevailing one. Well thanks to Little Bob and Leslie, we saw a different side, Tapas Alley, traditional narrow street area with small vibrant Tapas Bars, great atmosphere and wonderful sights and smells, very Spanish. We then walked up to the Memorial Point and had a beer in the setting sunlight, again, lovely.
After that we walked to "the strip" the bars and pubs were in full flow, and the atmosphere was more like the " beer and Bingo" Benidorm we expected, but we saw no trouble, saw nothing outrageous and actually thoroughly enjoyed the evening, beers were around€1.80 a pint and Wine was about the same a glass. To top it all off I bumped into a long standing colleague and friend who I played Rugby in The RAF with, and his wife, so we had a good laugh over a few beers, no need to say we got back here at around 01.30 this morning with huge smiles on our faces.
Overall, please don't let the image of Benidorm put you off, we are far enough away to be in the countryside, but with good Tram and Bus Services to get around, and this area of Spain is absolutely everything we wanted.
Total spend now is €1751 all in, but we have had a couple of good nights and expect that to tail off .
Fried fish, Tuna Salad, Patatas Bravas etc superb.
Calpe Rock and beach.
Spanish Galleon in Alicante Harbour.
These were all around Alicante as part of the Fire Festival.
The Marina, Alicante.
When I said no drunkeness I may have forgotten Debs and Leslie!! Memorial Point, Benidorm.
My old mate, Claydo, what a legend!!
4 likely characters, Alicante Centre.
So here we are, still in L'Alfas del Pi, the weather is now in the low 30s, and life is very good thankyou!!
On Saturday Debs and I caught the bus into Old Town Benidorm and met up with a couple of the family who we had not seen in far too long, needless to say we had a great time, shared a few beers and Sangris and even more stories.
On Sunday, we went with Sydney, Ruth, Leslie and Little Bob for lunch at Deja Vu in L' Alfas. What a treat, the landlord is a Geordie lad with a continuos flow of banter, he has the place full and in great atmosphere. 4 courses and a half bottle of wine is €9.95! What's more it's good quality and fresh! A must go if you are this way out, but book if you want Sunday Lunch as his well earnt reputation ensures the place is always busy. We then called at Rachel's bar, had a beer each and a jug of Sangria for the girls, €10.50! After a short walk, we ended up in The Station Bar just outside the campsite for several more refreshing beers and cocktails for the girls
To sum up, a leisurely lunch, a few social beers, left at 13.00 got back at 22.30 and spent around €50 in total!!
We had a "jobs"day today, walked into town, did some shopping then had a Fish Stew with a couple of cheese covered croutons for Dinner.
Top Tip this week, if you are thinking of some fake grass as an external area, buy it here! We bought 12 sq metres at €4.50 a metre!! Bargain, and it is sold at most DIY shops and builders merchants around here!!
Total spend to date, inc Ferry, Fuel, food, drink, socialising, fake grass and various bits that you buy such as candles, washing up stuff etc, transport on the busses and trams is €1645, bearing in mind I have also paid a month up front for the campsite.
Fake grass flooring!! Great stuff
Little Bob, myself and Syd at The Station Bar, we may have been subject to a beer or two at this stage!!
Debs and Leslie, at The Station Bar, pre Mojitos and Gin and Tonics!!
A light snack and a refreshing drink, Benidorm Old Beach end.
Looked so good I uploaded it twice
More to come in a few days, please feel free to ask any questions or for any insights I can give you.
Today the weather was a pleasant 26c, we rose at about 09.00, we had a leisurely cuppa and then went for a jog followed by a bike ride. A day by the pool was then in order, feeling that we had deserved it!!
This evening we have had a small healthy supper and are now getting ready to go out for a couple of beers at the on site bar.
It is very quiet, very sociable and we have met some more very friendly people. It seems that everyone says hello, that everyone has the time to chat for a while and is not only prepared to listen to what you say, but happy to share experiences. Marvellous!! If any funsters are this way out, please say hello, it would be great to put faces to names and maybe have a beer.
Retirement sits well.
Well, after a couple of weeks at home in cold, overpriced UK, Debs and I are back in Spain. Martin had the kind of send off he would have created for himself and was laid to rest in style.
We have moved onto Camping Almafra at Alma's del la Pi.
Booking for 30 days, with Wi-Fi added works out at €17.50 a day, this includes use of pool, gym etc. seems to be a nice site, there is a regular bus into Benidorm and Albir and the Metro Tram Station is 200 yards, this runs from Alicante to Denia with all stops in between.
We had Tapas and Raciones with a couple of beers and a white wine for Debs in Alma's last night, a short walk.
The weather is a pleasant 28 c with a light breeze.
Total Km run now is 2241, total spend is €1281, but that is the campsite and WiFi paid up till the 14th of July.
Hi all, first bit of internet for 6 days!! Well, we are at Camping Casablanca, Benidorm.
We set off Weds 19th May from Calais.
Oxford to Dover, Calais to Ault. Stayed at Aire Medical Ault, coordinates N50.103741. E1.451290.
A free car park, very basic but adequate, lovely views of cliffs, but town empty.
405 km run.
Ault to Honfleur,
Aire Municipal Honfluer.
Excellent, large Aire right on Marina. Full facilities and service, €11 for 24 hours.
Stunning town, great atmosphere, must see!!
Honfleur to La Suze.
Camping La Piscine, Suze
€10 fully serviced pitch.
Great campsite, right on the river, owners so friendly, their English is very basic but their German is fluent so conversed Auf Deutsch!
Lovely rural town and beautiful riverside walks.
La Suze to St Jean d' Angely
Aire Municipal St Jean d'Angely
Free, Water, Waste/Grey disposal.
Another stunning place, I am growing to love France!!
Right on the River, beautiful location, met Cliff and his lovely wife.
Could stay here forever!!
Received some bad news, unfortunately my amazing Brother in Law has passed, a heart attack at 57. RIP mate.
Pushed into Spain, stayed on a laybye near Pamplona then headed off to be near Alicante Airport.
495 km run
Camping Costa Blanca
€12 per night, fully serviced pitch, WiFi etc.
Nice site, basic requirements all met and owners very friendly.
Met Bob and Leslie, had a few sociable drinks with them last night, great people, ( on AutocruiseClub Rally)
658 km run.
Total Spend so far including Ferry, Fuel, Food, Wine, Beer etc is € 535.
Total km run 2234.
Awaiting details for flights home, we are leaving Lizzie here on site while we come home for a week.
Further updates in a couple of weeks.
Any questions or queries, please ask.
Debs and I are finally ready to go. Having taken possession of " Lizzie" a month ago, returned to the UK and been away in her every weekend since, I have ironed out a few bits, we have provisioned and loaded her and on Mon evening we set off for Dover to cross the Channel.
Our plan is to head down the West Coast of France and into Spain, head around the Northern Coast and then Atlantic Coast into Portugal. We then intend running back up the Mediterranean Coast of Spain and heading home.
We expect to take 4 months and intend blogging, with places, experiences and costs etc. I shall post pics as we go.
We hope the blog will be informative, interesting and possibly amusing on occasions.
We also hope to say hello to as many funsters as possible, so if you are anywhere that appears on our radar, lookout for us. We have a Hobby 750 FMSE, 1999 model.